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Scramble and shareware lock help

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I need some help on locating tutorials and freewares on: 1.Scrambling software so my exe code wont be cracked. 2.How to make a l hour playing lock on my shareware, like the ones in Yahoo! games?

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hi,

don't know if that helps

1.
UPX packing
with this you can pack your executable and therefore shrink it as well as
get some kind of scambling

you also can get some infos here (nice ideas)
http://www.embedded.com/2000/0002/0002feat1.htm

2.
you can start a counter at the beginning, thats the easy one, you can also make an entry in the registry where you set and read back let's say the last time game run or the time the game lasts,

greets
tgar

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However, keep in mind that UPX doesn't really protect your application at all.. People who would be attempting to crack your program would most likely notice that you are using UPX, and from there it is quite simple to decompress again (upx -d blabla.exe, voilà).

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Look out with writing to the registery its easy to check if
a programm wrote to the registery and then chance the value if
you want to play again.

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Even commericial games cannot do what you ask for with any degree of reliability. The best you can really hope for is to stop the casual (or none tech-savvy) user from playing your game beyond the time limit you want, in which case the registry suggestion is pretty good.

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Registry writing can be tracked by certain programs.

The best way to protect your game is to create files in certain points in the system and slightly alter certain system files (in such a way that doesn't crash the system), all this at random points during runtime. Also, don't tell user that his/her evaluation is over as soon as you discover it. Disable certain features that are required for the user to finish the level, and using threads, warn the user at a later time. This makes a cracker's life far more complicated. It's not easy tracking different threads of asm files, especially when the action they are doing is not obvious.

Oh, and don't use standard resources in readable form for the warning dialogue box. The strings in the warning dialogue are the first thing a cracker looks for.
Use your engine to render the box and use images instead of strings.

All that said, don't count on the ability to protect your code. At most, cracking can be delayed for way too long to harm you. That, however, very rarely happens even with multi milion dollar products.

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